My body is a gallery with fogged up windows. Cup your hands to the glass and press your face in close, heat under the surface, cold to the touch. See the edge of purple and ragged red? Progressive art or damaged goods? It’s hard to tell. Try the handle; rattle the lock. Someone must be inside with answers. The sign says closed for business but there’s a humming just out of sight like a hive or a nuclear plant. Come back again tomorrow. Sometimes the windows are open and the hum has words: “I am what I need.” Walk away.
Willow trees and banana seat bicycles, cut-offs and empty beer cans in the ditches. This is summer in a place that isn’t quite town but has too many houses to be country. The beer cans go to the recycling center for five cents each and change rattles in my pocket.
In four years, I’ll drink the beer and forget about change. In six years I’ll be too busy changing diapers to bother with beer. In ten years I’ll forget about the baby who’s become a child and get back to drinking. But it’s summer now and I’ll be twelve forever.
Kristen MacKenzie lives on Vashon Island in a quiet cabin where the shelves are filled with herbs for medicine-making, the floor is open for dancing, and the table faces the ocean, waiting for a writer to pick up the pen. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Rawboned Journal, GALA Magazine, Extract(s) Daily Dose of Lit, and Diversity Rules Magazine.
Cover Photo: “Education” by D.S. West (https://icexv.wordpress.com/)